Black, a Woman, & Here Till the End
An overview of the hardest year and the conclusion of a decade
It is December 31, 2020.
I am finally sitting down to write about the past several months and how my life has changed.
However, I feel that no matter what I share or express gratitude for there will not be adequate enough words to explain what it means to me to make it to the end of 2020.
And not just make it, either.
This year centered on survival for me—a kind that I had not navigated before despite surviving 30-some-odd years in systems, a society, and world that was not built for me.
In June, I was vulnerable and told my network on LinkedIn that I was seeking a new senior leadership role, during a pandemic, after 9 months of living in Indonesia.
On this last day of 2020, I am a Vice President Director, leading and working alongside talented folx, and navigating what it means to be an authentic and mindful Black leader in such a role, time, and environment.
During the summer I shared my thoughts, feelings, and lived experiences about being a Black woman in America; how existing in my Blackness has impacted my personal and professional lives; and why the sudden attention shown to Black lives and bodies was received as performative — especially as it pertained to the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd by police.
On this last day of 2020, I continue processing how in the last three months I have been harassed and physically threatened by White supremacists in my neighborhood; dismissed and invalidated by medical providers and others when seeking care and help; and briefly left homeless at the start of what felt like my luck was finally shifting; all of this despite what many would consider blessings and abundance: my own apartment, savings, employment, negative COVID test, and a happy JRT beagle mix named Montgomery.
In September, I received three job offers and had four opportunities that were heading in that direction as well. It was nothing short of stressful trying to make the “right” decision with each, while being at the most depressive and anxiety-inducing point of my 30+ years thus far.
On this last day of 2020, I am in awe of my emotional awareness and maturity that led me to only share the above with a few people who gave me their most valuable resource—time—during my very difficult job search; doing so allowed me not to feel pressure to broadcast where I chose to ultimately go and the can’t-please-everyone decisions I had to make in order to reach that point.
In November, history was made in this dumpster fire of a country, such that I did not think I would live to see it. My grandmother could not have imagined there would be both a Black President of the United States and now a Black Vice President of the United States in either of our lifetimes; it makes me wish she was still alive to see Kamala Harris and the many more yet to come.
On this last day of 2020, I know there is far much more work to be done because it does not stop with one—this is the beginning and I am certain many Black, Indigenous, and People of Color see that as well.
This year closes with me reaffirmed in who I am, how I continue to learn more about myself, and the ways in which I will stand up for myself and what I believe in.
2020 showed me I cannot make it through everything alone nor do I have to ever again.
2021 likely has no idea that I refuse anything less than my time to fully live and thrive.